After seminal New York dance-punk band Liquid Liquid disbanded, Dennis Young, their percussionist and marimba player found new age music and proceeded to spend the rest of the eighties recording a series of cassette-only releases. At the time, several of these private press rarities – part of a bio-rhythmically aligned cycle (each tape was intended to be heard on specific days of the week) – were picked up for release in South Korea.
Thirty-odd years later, Daehan Electronics, a Seoul-based label dedicated to tracing the history of experimental/electronic music in South Korea and exploring the links between the land of the morning calm and elsewhere, stumbled upon some of these releases. As a result of this discovery, Daehan Electronics gained access to Dennis’ archives and are now in the process of remastering and reissuing several of his New Age projects alongside some equally special unreleased material. The series began in 2017 with the suitably meditative Quest album, and last month they released Sojourn and Visions, all of which are available in vinyl LP and digital formats. Of particular note is ‘Volcano Cathedral’ (off Visions) a gloriously colourful mid-tempo stomper where Dennis revisits the Liquid Liquid vibe while reframing it within the healing tones he’d fallen head over heels for.
Viewed through the rear mirror of time, Dennis’ solo 80s works are deeply retrofuturistic and utopian, riddled with hopeful dreams and expectations for what the dawning of the 21st century might bring. In this timeline, it can be hard to be optimistic about the future, so on those particularly heavy days, Dennis’ records serve as an opportunity to explore the possibilities of what might have, and maybe still could be.